Attention Trade-off between Two Types of User Contributions: Effects of Pinterest-Style Infinite Scroll Layouts on Creating Original Sharing and Appreciating Others’ Sharing

Abstract

User contributions are critical to social commerce sites. Prior studies mainly examined motivational factors influencing user contributions. In the current study, we examine effects of interface layouts on user contributions, from the perspective of attention allocation. We also distinguish between the two types of user contributions: creating original sharing and appreciating others’ sharing. Since attention is a limited resource, we argue that interface layouts may lead to attention trade-off between the two types of user contributions. Leveraging an opportunity of a popular social commerce site’s transformation to Pinterest-style infinite scrolling layouts, we collected panel data. Empirical findings show that the new layouts design has opposite effects on the two types of user contribution: a positive effect on users’ appreciation of others’ sharing, but a negative effect on users’ original sharing. Some user characteristics moderate the effects. The findings yield important implications for research and websites design practice

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